What The Flock?

tree down


Is there anything better than a flocked Christmas tree?  Hell to the no!  I bought this tree from Walmart a few years ago for $120, after searching endlessly, and only finding what I thought were overpriced options.  The flocking is top notch in my book.  It doesn’t come off the way you think it would, and the branches are heavily coated.  If your in the market for a flocked tree, this is the one to beat!  

Before it gets all Christmasy up in here, I’m going to show you some pictures of my revamped Ikea coffee table, since they are sharing the same space, and its hard to take a photo of one without the other.  In case you don’t remember, I recently shared this chalkboard table DIY.  Well, I’m already (mere weeks later) tired of it, and changed it out for the old one.  This is how I roll, people.  I change things.  A LOT.  The old and current table is the “Strind” from Ikea.  There is no longer a clear glass option for this table, it only comes in white, and black.  

 My recent obsession with all things brass/gold spurred this transformation.  It’s amazing what a can of Gold Rust-Oleum spray paint can do!  Before the table had an undeniable industrial feel, and now it is pretty, and chic.

DSC02072DSC02076table 3


Now, back to Christmas trees…

A few years ago I fell in love with this vintage oriental themed tree by Mathew Mead:



My interpretation of this fabulous tree uses mini party fan decorations:



I am in love!  The leopard skirt is actually a couple yards of fabric that I got for cheap at Joanne’s.  It all seems very Christmas Mad Men style to me, with the bar cart being right by the tree.  The addition of the shimmery disco ball makes it truly festive, and over the top! 

I have a mixture of both new and vintage ornaments. I love to scour the thrift stores every year, and find new vintage beauties to add to my collection  My favorite ornaments are actually vintage reproductions by Christopher Radko for Shiny Brite.  

side treewhole tree view2013-11-11That’s it for now folks! 


Hot Lips In The Kitchen

Hot lips in the kitchen, say what?! I’m referring to a Benjamin Moore paint color, folks! Yes, I’m prepared to show you something all kinds of hot pink, and delicious. But first I’m sharing a photo of my amazing family from Halloween-because, well, look at them! We DIY’d the Katy Perry costume for Ava for about $30, and my lovely Sadie was such a sassy 1920’s flapper.  Had to share! Also since it shows part of my dining room I figured it was a nice segue for me to tell you that It is being featured on Cutting Edge Stencils blog.  So go check it out! 

Now, since I went an entire week without a post (again), I figured I better share something pretty fantastic with you.  I may be a little biased, but how can a pink kitchen be a bad thing?


The paint color is “hot lips” by Benjamin Moore, I think it is very reminiscent of this foyer featured in House Beautiful, painted in their razzle dazzle shade. The kitchen used to be black, but it just wasn’t working. Even though the space gets an amazing amount of light, the dark color sucked the energy out of the room.  I didn’t like the black kitchen juxtaposed with the purple ikat dining room either.  Now the space is vibrant, and fun, and it just sort of glows from every angle.  

DSC02027The stove wasn’t always in this location, but after we put in a dishwasher and added counter space, this was only place for it to go.  I refuse to give up my breakfast nook to make room for a larger kitchen, so I’ve gotten comfortable with this arrangement.  Here is a before of the kitchen redo in progress:


I gained so much counter space by switching the stove to the opposite side, and removing the cabinet that the old hood was attached to, only helped to open the space up.  When I was a teenager my mom removed every cabinet in our kitchen, opting instead for open shelving, the she skirted the bottom portion of would be cabinets in a floral Ralph Lauren fabric.  Yeah, traditional kitchens ain’t our thang.

bright shelves

close up shelves

I did keep some black in the kitchen by way of a chalkboard refrigerator:


good one refrigerator

And the hot pink peg board?! I adore it. In a smallish kitchen it helps to have things on hand.



Lastly, Is a glimpse of the breakfast nook before it undergoes some transformation.  We are planning to do a built in bench seat on all three sides to cozy up the space, and maybe a few sconce lights, because I am not a fan of overhead lighting.

daylight BN best shot

I have some fun Christmas projects to share, and a chic (very simple) Ikea table redo, so stay tuned! 


Wingbacks & Paint Decks

Hey Guys!

I neglected the good Ol’ blog last week, but I did manage to find two great wingback chairs for a reasonable price ($70 for the pair).  They are in amazing condition, very sturdy, near perfect upholstery, and the feminine shape I prefer.  I am definitely going forward with painting them. I’ve read nearly every tutorial on the subject, and feel confident that It will give me the custom look I want, with a price tag I can actually afford.  

wordI busted out our my moms trusty Benjamin Moore paint deck to start the process of choosing a paint color for these gems.  I am leaning towards kelly green/emerald-green, but tomorrow I could be dead set on lavender!  I’m not shy when it comes to color, if you haven’t noticed.  I have a lavender living room, dark purple ikat dining room, hot pink kitchen, and turquoise breakfast nook.  It sounds like crazy town, but I promise you it works!  I know it sounds like I choose colors on whim, but it’s very intentional, and a lot of time is spent lugging these heavy ass paint decks around trying to decide on the perfect color.  

I welcome your input as to what the color of these chairs should be! 

In other news, we will probably get started making the benches in a few weeks.  I cannot wait!  The wingback chairs take up more visual weight, so having three chairs on each side is too cluttered for my liking.  The simplicity of the benches will allow the wingback chairs to bask in the spotlight.  

I’m still deciding on fabric options for the window seat and pillows, and also trying to decide if I can spruce up the buffet enough to warrant keeping it.  It has a sort of medieval vibe-largely due to the hardware, so a simple swap might suffice.  I was also thinking of painting it to match the wingback chairs-for consistencies sake.

OK-I really must go and make the corn chowder I promised my children for dinner

(Deborah Madison’s recipe-It’s fantastic!)



Ikat Dining Room


It’s a gloomy day in my neck of the woods, so I thought it would be fun to show you some photos of my vibrant dining room! 

instagram of DR

When we bought our house the dining room was a big white box.  A blank slate is great except that the whole “possibilities are endless” thing can really wear on a person over time.  I had concrete ideas about what I wanted for our dining room.  A dining room/library combo, a huge  table, a window seat, and stenciled walls.  I had the idea to stencil the walls right from the beginning. A stencil is the perfect option for someone who loves wallpaper but either cannot afford it, or is afraid of the commitment. Why purple ikat? I have always adored everything from Madeline Weinrib, especially this purple ikat fabric, and I wanted something that replicated that rich design.  I used the Samarkand stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils, and the paint color is byzantine purple by Olympic.  My husband has a B.F.A. with a concentration in printmaking so naturally I made him do the stencil.  It took roughly two days to complete, and it was absolutely worth it, because it really couldn’t have turned out more perfect.

Once the window seat was built, I had the idea to “frame” the little nook with all of our books.  We used sets of L brackets to construct the towers of books.  In each column there are four sets of L brackets.  The books are piled on top of the brackets to create the illusion that they are just casually stacked from the floor up. A shelf painted the same color of the walls (to blend in) spans from one column of books to the other and helps finish that “library” feel we were going for.  I love me some inspiration boards, so the inside of the walls have photos and magazine clippings taped up with washi tape.  I do have to say that I’m ready for a change of pillows, the zebra Waverly print on the euro shams might stay, but the other pillows which are outdoor by Waverly, are too childish for the space.  Also the window seat cushion needs to visit an upholsterer for a snazzy new cover-so I’ve started brainstorming, and fabric searching.  I am also on the hunt for dining room chairs, something much more comfortable than the old things we have now.  I’ve been contemplating benches with thick cushions, but anything with an upholstered seat would be better than what we have now.  So stay tuned for another installment of Tara’s incessant need to change things! 

The photo lampshades were a fun way to personalize the space.  They are Instagram prints (printed using PostalPix) that we covered in adhesive and attached to the lampshades.  F.U.N.

A quick word about our dining table.  It’s this one from Ikea, although ours is the larger one that seats up to 14 people. It comes in three colors- black, brown, and birch.  No Bueno.  I did not want a big honkin black table in this space, but I did want the largest table I could find, and for cheap! So I purchased said table.  Then one nice summer day I proceeded to carry the big honkin table outside and sand the veneer right off of it.  It. took. forever.  Then I stained it, and polyurethaned it.  It’s not exactly rustic, but I don’t mind.  It is extremely sturdy, and for the cost of the table ($300) plus $20 for stain & polyurethane- I have the sort of table I had always dreamed of having, all with a very low price tag.  

color view DR

all books with light

close up seat

close up seat 2

perspective DR

lampshade closeup



Vintage Hamper & A Funky Light Fixture


Today I’m going to share a couple of FUN projects with you.

One is a vintage hamper that we found at our local Salvation Army for $12.  I spotted it from across the room.  It was one of those divine moments, the kind where everything around you is out of focus except one item which seems surrounded in a glowing orb of light.  In this case it was a vintage hamper.

cropped hamper

It was the perfect size, in amazing condition, and had a style that makes me swoon.  It.was.perfect.  Except for the fact that it was horribly ugly.  Good thing I love projects that require a trip to the fabric store! I scored a couple yards of lime green marine vinyl for less than $15.  Then the Hubs began the painstaking process of disassembly.  The handles and feet were removed, and all the old vinyl was removed and used as a template to cut the new vinyl.  We scrubbed the hardware down with a wire brush to remove as much rust as possible, and then spray painted everything gold.


Isn’t it delicious?!

It’s even more fun paired with the ceiling fixture that we made from an old skirt! Say what?

We originally had a generic dome type ceiling light in the bathroom, until that is, I had a light bulb moment (pun intended) to fashion this one made from an old pink hippy skirt.  It literally took 5 mins to make.  All we did was cut the bottom off of a ruffled skirt until it was the right length/size, and then we used Fabri-tac to glue part of it around the top of a lampshade.  It is attached to the existing bolt of the fixture using the same cap that held the old one on.  The bottom is open, exposing the light bulbs and underside of the fixture.  I have plans to cover the bottom of the opening with another piece of fabric to hide all the ugly bits! I did manage to get a cool photo of the underside, and have included a few photos of the bathroom also so you can see the two pieces together in their natural habitat.


final artsy pic light

good bath picmarilyn toilet no shower liner

Indifference & Glitter Pumpkins

Good Morning!

I hope it’s OK if I share a few Instagrams of our Halloween mantle last year.  I would like to say I have new, and never seen before images of spectacular Halloween décor, but the truth is my mantle still looks just like this.  Do you ever get in a slump around certain Holidays?  I usually go overboard with all of them, but this year something is off.  My family experienced a profound loss last year, just as Fall was beginning to settle herself around us.  I cannot say for certain that this is the sole reason that I feel rather indifferent towards Halloween this year, all I know is something has changed.  I am longing for the Holidays that mean huge family gatherings, laughter that makes you feel absolutely buoyant, and the warmth and solace that comes inherent in my crazy family.  So, for now I will share a Halloween past, and hope that next year there is shift, and I am once again able to enjoy the familiarness of a Holiday I truly adore.

Without further ado here are a few images of our glittery pink pumpkins.  My husband made the crow screen-print that is in the Baroque frame.  I kind of love it.



living room/Faux foyer


It’s hard to believe that this spot in our home has remained the same for almost six months.  Normally I would have tired of everything by this point.  I suppose it’s a true reflection of how much I love the space.  I did add ribbon to the top of the pelmet box, and switched out the pink silk pillow for a leopard one.  A floral and leopard pillow combo will always be one of my favorites.  

use this 1DSC01910

My father in law gave us an antique coat tree last winter, and while I did try my best to make it work, it was just too overwhelming for our space.  In this ol’ bungalow the coat closet is at the end of the living room, and to make matters worse, it lacks a foyer. So I decided to go with a chest that I had used in the past.  It has three huge drawers for stuffing coats and things into.  It’s painted in Rust-Oleum white gloss enamel, which is durable, and has lacquer like shine.  It’s a win-win.  I nailed a basket on the side, for a calender, mail, keys, etc.

entry way


I nabbed the lamp at the thrift store for 5$, and spray painted it with Rust-Oleum enamel spray paint in Fern.  The shade is covered In an Amy Butler watercolor floral.  One of my most favorite things about the dresser are the knobs that my daughters picked out, which are totally on trend right now.  Silver faceted pulls, I mean come on! (5$ a piece at Lowe’s) The photo of Ava picking her nose is one of my most treasured possessions.  My husband snapped it when we were wee little babes in Art School.

See! You can have a functional Entry space, without having a formal foyer. XO-Tara